Sexual Harassment Allegations: CJI Appears Before Bobde-Led Panel
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday, 1 May, appeared before an in-house inquiry committee looking into allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a former woman employee of the Supreme Court, an official source told PTI.
The former apex court employee dubbed on Tuesday as "very frightening" the atmosphere of the in-house inquiry committee and "walked out" raising various objections including denial of her lawyer's presence.
The committee is comprised of Justice SA Bobde (who is set to succeed CJI Gogoi as the next CJI in November 2019) along with Justices Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra.
Separate hearings in the case regarding a ‘threat to the independence of the judiciary’, initiated as a result of the allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, were concluded on Thursday, 25 April.
The judges had on Tuesday ordered Bains to appear before them to explain his claims and provide materials to support them.
To read the full story on the allegations, click here.
- On Saturday, 20 April, a 35-year-old woman submitted an affidavit to 22 judges of the SC, with allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
- Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra considering possible threat to independence of judiciary, decides to examine claims by advocate Utsav Bains that there is a plot to frame CJI Gogoi.
- On Thursday, 25 April, Justice (retd) AK Patnaik was appointed by the court to probe Bains’ claims of a ‘larger conspiracy’.
- On Friday, 26 April, special committee of Justices SA Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee conducted first in-house hearing on allegations, attended by complainant,
Sexual Harassment Allegations: CJI Meets Bobde-Led Panel
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday, 1 May, appeared before an in-house inquiry committee looking into allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a former woman employee of the Supreme Court, an official source said.
This is for the first time in the history of Indian judiciary that a CJI appeared before a committee over allegations of sexual harassment, the source said.
"A letter of request was issued to the Chief Justice of India asking him to meet the committee and he responded it and he met the committee on this issue," the source told PTI.
The in-house inquiry committee is headed by Justice S A Bobde, who is the senior-most judge in the Supreme Court after the CJI, and its two other members are women judges of the apex court -- justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.
Complainant Opts Out of Inquiry Panel, Says Isn't Hopeful of Getting Justice
Complainant in the sexual harassment case against CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday, 30 April, opted out of the inquiry committee, stating she isn't hopeful of getting justice the way three-judge inquiry panel is examining the matter.
Plea to Gag Media From Publishing Allegations on CJI Rejected
Delhi HC has dismissed plea to restrain media from publishing allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India, reported news agency PTI.
A Big Blow to the Integrity of SC : Santosh Hegde
Former Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde said, the integrity of the apex court as an institution has taken a big blow in the backdrop of allegations against the CJI, reported PTI.
“It's a very sad state of affairs irrespective of the ultimate results. The institutional integrity has taken a big blow,” Hegde, a former Solicitor General of India said.
He said it would take a long time for the Supreme Court to come out of “these problems.”
First Hearing by Justice Bobde Panel Concludes, Complainant Appears
According to PTI, the first hearing of the special committee, to inquire into the sexual harassment and intimidation allegations raised by a former junior court assistant against the CJI, has concluded.
The hearing was scheduled to begin at 12:30 pm on Friday, details of which are to remain confidential. The woman complainant had been issued notice to appear before the committee, and was present for the hearing.
The date of the next hearing has not yet been announced.
In her response to the notice on 24 April, the complainant had raised certain concerns over the initial constitution of the committee and the procedure to be followed, but had confirmed she would attend.